Choosing is the Hardest Part…

So, you’ve decided that you want to make a difference by serving a year with City Year. But with 21 locations across the country, it can be pretty difficult to decide which city you want to serve in. You may want to stay close to home so that you can serve the community you grew up in, but you also might have the desire to move to a new city; maybe one that you’ve never even been to before!


Since applicants are only able to apply to serve at one site in a recruitment season, choosing a site can be a daunting decision to make. While the service we provide is pretty similar from site to site, there are definitely factors to keep in mind when picking a location.

Here are some things that you may want to consider:

Students Served

Do you think that you would work best with elementary aged students or do you connect better with high schoolers? Are you a fluent Spanish speaker? While all City Year sites serve in schools, different sites serve different types of students.

Corps Size

Did you go to a small high school or college and liked how close-knit it felt, or do you thrive off being a part of a large group? Our site corps sizes vary from as small as 25 corps members all the way up to 250 corps members, with most sites being in the mid-size range.

Cost of Living

While City Year provides great benefits to help you stay afloat (living stipend, student loan forbearance and health insurance just to name a few), you’re going to pay more for rent in certain parts of the country. Taxes could be higher. When doing your research, ask what the average corps member pays for rent. Find out if most corps members share a room, if they have found that renting a house is cheaper than living in an apartment complex. There have been many people before you who have had to go through the same process, and they have plenty of wisdom to offer you.

So, how can you find out these sorts of things about sites? Here are some options:

  • Check out site specific websites.
  • Call the recruitment folks at the site. They are more than willing to answer questions.
  • Post questions on our Facebook page. People from the City Year community are always engaging in helpful conversations.
  • If you live near a location, attend an Open House. You may not be interested in serving close to home, but attending an Open House is a great way to learn more about City Year and to get connected to the City Year community. Check out your local City Year location website for info.
  • Can’t attend one? We have a Virtual Open House on our website.

Still unsure of a location? Tomorrow we’ll tell you about choosing to Serve Where Most Needed.

Infographic by Ginmann Bai


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